The Era of cheque truncation has served its purpose each day that passes the banking sectors finds a new means of technology in order to satisfy customers and give them an expected end in service delivery.
Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System [NIBSS] and Precise Financial Systems [PFS] have collaborated to unveil a new National Automated Clearing System [NACS], which allows all the Deposit Money Banks in the country to clear cheques within hours.
The banks have been test-running the infrastructure for 11 weeks ago and a total of N5 trillion worth of cheques from 10 million transactions has been processed through the new platform. With the new system, a cheque can be cleared within six hours, four hour or at whatever duration agreed by all institutions.
The Managing Director of PFS, the software firm behind NACS, Dr. Yele Okeremi at the session said the process of clearing cheques in all Nigerian banks has been simplified with the launch of NACS and that the successful completion of the project has the door for more Nigerian firms to take on more national challenges. Okeremi commended the collaborative effort that exists between NIBSS and PFS, saying that the partnership has given birth to the new system that “allows bank customers to experience the benefits of shorter cheque clearing cycles, as it reduces operational cost of the banks because the clearing departments of the bank can work smarter and close earlier.
NIBSS wanted a system that can be incorporated with the Bank Verification Number [BVN]. They also wanted a situation where they would have a session-less system that would always be online such that banks could transmit their transactions as soon as they happen rather than a batch system that opens up at specific times and closes after stipulated time frames.
Head, Domestic Payments and Collections, Union Bank, Mr. Kolawole Aminu, described the new platform as user-friendly. He added that “over N5 trillion that has been processed on the new platform just within 11 weeks. We are talking of over 10 million in terms of the volume of cheques. That tells you how much we do with this mode of payment. whenever Nigerian government request foreigners to do what we could have done for ourselves, we export prosperity and import poverty, saying that there is a national and sovereign security issue.
If you go to any developed country, they would not allow foreigners to have access to certain critical infrastructure in their country. So why do we keep exposing our country to such sovereign risks. I think the fact that NIBSS has led the way in this direction, I expect other organizations to follow suit.
This improvement expatiated that the Nigerian economy would benefit immensely from the new solution because it is “conceived and developed by Nigerians thereby saving some capital flight for the country”.